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What is a Birth Doula? 


The word DOULA comes from a Greek word that means "a woman who serves".  A birth doula is a professional trained in childbirth who provides emotional, physical and informational support to those who are trying to conceive, expecting, in labor, or have recently given birth.   



What are the benefits to hiring a doula?


C-sections reduced by 26% - 50%

Length of labor reduced by 25%

Oxytocin use reduced by 40%

Use of narcotics reduced by 30%

Forceps reduced by 30%

Epidurals reduced by 60%

Improved breastfeeding

Decreased postpartum depression


References:

Cochrane Collaboration www.thecochranelibrary.com

http://www.understandingresearch.com/playing-the-doula-numbers-game




Doulas DO:

  • Provide non-biased emotional, physical, and informational support during pregnancy, labor and the birth process, and the immediate postpartum period
  • Work closely with the birthing woman and her family as she explores her values and needs surrounding birth
  • Encourage the birthing woman to seek care and a place of birth that reflects her values and needs
  • Assist in the preparation of birth preferences to facilitate communication with the birth team
  • Encourage informed decision making
  • Provide information on birth options and resources
  • Provide the woman with non-medical comfort techniques for labor, such as positions and movement, comforting touch, breathing techniques, and affirmation
  • Seek to foster a cooperative, respectful, and positive atmosphere with the birth team
  • Provide support to the birthing woman's partner or family
  • Support and assist initial breastfeeding
  • Assist the mother in processing her birth experience
  • Answer general questions about newborn care and breastfeeding



Doulas DO NOT:


  • Diagnose medical conditions
  • Perform clinical procedures
  • Interpret medical diagnoses or clinical results
  • Perform clinical procedures
  • Make decisions for the birthing woman
  • Speak for the birthing woman












Birth Doula